Often times targeted ads can be upsetting or triggering, especially to women who suffer with body dysmorphia or other weight or beauty related issues. As I did more and more work on the CONTROL series, the targeted ads on my social networks began to change, and suddenly they became very much directed at weight management and body image, with some even conflating fat content with self-worth and desirability. Social media was a place where I wanted to go to escape from being bombarded about body image from every TV and radio ad, but suddenly my safe space online was no longer safe. This prompted my exploration of digital glitch work.
The images this series were created by going into the hexadecimal code of the image files in order to purposefully glitch and destroy them. I started with nude self-portraits, and inside each image, I went into the code and added textual data to begin breaking and modifying the photo. The textual data used to break the images came from the hexadecimal code from a facebook ad geared at weight loss or body image.
After using the code from the ad to disrupt the code from the self-portrait, I then went back into the self-portrait and added in brief statements about how the ads made me feel about myself or my body. The textual data of each confession, fear, or anxiety further broke the self portrait, revealing this ugly glitch or interruption in the image.
Since glitching is a process that cannot be controlled, I wanted to re-establish some of that control in my process. So I took the glitched portraits, the facebook ads, and the code into Photoshop and began to composite them together. The above series shows the results of that process.
By allowing part of the glitched image, the ads, and the underlying code to come together, I'm working with the same language of code, control, structure, and layering to draw connections to societal structures, cultural paradigms, and unfair dichotomies that affect us all, both on the screen, and in real life.
A selection of this series was shown during Art | Basel Miami at the Koubek Center, Miami, FL in 2014.